Eight ways to save energy and money
With many businesses aiming to increase profit margins this year, OFTEC, which represents the domestic and light commercial oil heating sector, is encouraging owners to take some simple steps to save energy and money. David Blevings, OFTEC Ireland Manager, has provided the following top tips to help reduce energy bills in 2014.
In today’s competitive business environment, successful businesses are those making efficient use of their energy and resources, helping to drive costs down. According to the Confederation of British Industry, businesses in the UK waste on average 10-20% of the energy they buy. Cutting these costs is a lot easier than you think with a few easy actions.
Switch off computers and other appliances, don’t leave them on standby
Get into the habit of turning off computers and peripherals like printers and scanners when they are not being used. This can lead to huge savings as a single computer and monitor left on 24 hours a day will cost over £50 a year.
Ditch screen savers
Programme your computer system to use the power down settings, this is far more efficient than a screen saver. Or alternatively encourage staff to switch off their monitors when they are away from their desks.
Turn your thermostat down
Try and keep your thermostat at 19°C. Your heating costs will go up by approximately 10% by increasing your room temperature by 1°C. If you don’t regularly check your heating equipment, you could be paying a lot more. By reducing your temperature by 1°C, you could save around £65 per year.
Consider switching to a condensing boiler for your business
This will immediately improve your energy efficiency and can lead to a saving of up 18% on your annual oil bill every year thereafter.
Service your office’s heating appliances regularly
Annual servicing of your appliances will improve efficiency, offer potential cost savings on energy bills and could extend the life of the product – avoiding costly repairs and or replacements. Always use an OFTEC registered technician who has been assessed to work on oil-fired equipment, carries full insurance and can provide written reports for your records.
Be water efficient where possible
By undertaking small actions, for example, by fixing a leaking tap or only turning on the dishwasher once it’s full, saves energy and thus cuts costs.
Encourage staff to switch off lights when they leave the room
This could cut your lighting costs by as much as 15%. Also, think of using energy efficient light bulbs – these may be expensive initially, but they will save you more in the long run.
Be tank safe
If your business has an oil tank on the premises, ensure it, like your boiler, is serviced regularly. A registered technician can check for any signs of stress and advise on the suitability of the base and support. New legislation applies to commercial tanks at offices, shops and industrial premises. The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage Regulations) NI 2010 requires all commercial property to use a bunded tank. Make sure you get advice from an OFTEC registered technician if you store oil at your site in a tank above 200 litres. If you don’t comply you could face a hefty fine or worse as an oil spill could see you incurring expensive clean-up costs that are often excluded from businesses insurance policies. If cared for properly, your oil tank can last for up for up to 20 years. But if your tank is older than this, you could be taking an unnecessary risk with your business safety.